That's one giant hairball.
Video game villains are a nasty bunch. They routinely threaten to take over the
world, steal something important, or kidnap the (insert important figurehead here)'s
daughter. The average criminal mastermind, however, usually doesn't have the wherewithal
to kidnap a bunch of babies and genetically alter the family members of super
heroes. Then again, General Viggo isn't your average criminal mastermind. I guess
you shouldn't mess with an evil stuffed cat.
In Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge, you'll play as one of six fearless
stuffed animal warriors in a quest to save their families. This third person
shooter is in the same vein as the MDK series with plenty
of action-oriented gameplay and lots of enemies to frag" er, I mean fluff. But
as you all know, too much fluff isn't always a good thing.
If you played the Dreamcast version of Fur Fighters, then for the most
part you've played this one. They're pretty much the same.
Each one of the fur fighters has its own special abilities. Roofus the dog
can dig underground, Chang the firefox squeezes into small spaces, Juliet the
cat can climb, Rico the penguin swims, Bungalow the kangaroo can jump high and
Tweek the dragon can glide. In order to progress, players will have to figure
out which character is best suited to accomplish the task at hand. You'll also
need to be using the proper character when rescuing a baby, since the stubborn
little fluffs will only go home with a member of their own species.
Switching characters is done simply by finding a "character teleporter" and
walking into it. It gets a little annoying when that particular character's
teleporter you need is waaay back in an area you passed a while ago, but generally
speaking, if you see a teleporter nearby, you should switch characters.
One of Fur Fighters crowning achievements is the toon-textured graphics.
Inspired by games like Wacky
Races and Jet Grind
Radio, the black-outlined, 3D toon graphics of Fur Fighters look
great. The characters are a perfect example of what cartoons should look like
in 3D and even the environments keep up with the cartoon theme.
And speaking of environments, you'll explore some huge interactive levels
in your quest to stop Viggo. There are six themed levels - The Village, New
Quack City, Beaver Power, Cape Canardo, Dinotopolis and Anatat Tatanatat - each
of which include various sub-levels filled with plenty of areas to discover.
You could play a level for hours and still not find everything there is to find.
On the downside, you will definitely find a bunch of lame enemies, or as I
call them, "fodder." Limited intelligence doesn't do much for them and it's
pretty easy to take down small groups of even the meanest of cute and fuzzy
bad guys. Only sheer strength of numbers or the element of surprise will give
the bad guys a shot at" well, shooting you.
selection is also kind of a letdown. Even with the rocket launcher and the plasma
blaster, it doesn't really feel like there's a better weapon than the basic
sub-machine gun. Nothing compares to the rapid fire of a good sub when facing
legions of stuffed animals gone bad.
After a while, the bulk of the gameplay gets pretty repetitive. Run here,
shoot a couple of guys. Run there, solve a simple puzzle. Run farther, shoot
another group of guys. With a low variety of enemy types in each level, it just
gets a little dull.
At least the effort was made to switch it up every now and then with brief
mini-games. From a brief game of free-throw basketball to "flea fighter," you'll
find a few neat little diversions that will break the monotony for a moment.
Too bad it's only a moment.
But the worst offense of all is the evil camera. Most of the time it does
its job, but whenever you get into close quarters or put your back near a wall,
the camera tends to flip out, making it hard to see where you need to be shooting
or jumping. Definitely frustrating.
The game also comes with multiplayer, which supports up to 4 players via split
screen and multitap. While it extends the life a bit, the deathmatches aren't
much fun With scads of enemies to kill in the single-player game, fighting against
a mere 1 to 3 friends just isn't appealing.
On a side note, the game is littered with amusingly bad voice acting. Some
may be offended by the stereotypical accents, but of course there's a point
where enough is enough and it just becomes silly.
Where did these guys to go voice acting school?
Without a doubt, Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge has its share of problems.
It is entertaining for a brief spell, though. I mean, who can resist cute, cuddly
stuffed animals blowing the tops off their evil counterparts? It's just like
when you were a kid, except this time mom won't get mad at you when an evil
bear is suddenly missing a head.